I am a Canadian nurse, educated in Canada with a BScN degree. 3 years ago I passed the nclex and got my visa screen. Didn't end up traveling at the time as the economy went down the toilet and there were very few jobs for travelers in California (where I had dreamed of going). In the mean time, met my husband and ended up never travel-nursing. Now we have moved to upstate NY for his job. I initially thought I was good to go, that it was a matter of applying for my NY nursing license. Was I ever WRONG!! It turns out that NY state has their own credential verification service, through CGFNS. You have to pay another $400 and wait months for anything to happen once you've jumped through all of their hoops all over again (signed, notarized application and numerous other forms). I applied back in October and it's now almost February and I am still waiting. I have been calling CGFNS on a weekly basis to make sure things are moving because I have been told many different things about my file. From a computer glitch and it being "stuck", and "don't worry we can courier the forms that haven't been sent to your university yet" to "I don't know who told you that about the computer, this is the normal amount of time it takes" to "we don't courier anything, I don't know who told you that". The people who are supposed to help you don't let you speak or listen to why you are calling in the first place. They are rude and condescending and just add to the frustration. For the amount of money I am paying, I would expect more efficient service and friendlier staff!
What I really don't understand, is why on earth do we even have to go through this? I am pretty sure that our Canadian nursing educations and our work in Canadian health care is at an equivalent, if not superior standard to that of the US. Really, as far as I am concerned, it's a huge money-grab and the CGFNS has a complete monopoly.
If you are planning to work in NY or any US state, do your research as the whole CGFNS is VERY time-consuming and there is no guarantee on how long things can take. They will quote 3-6 months, but there are absolute horror stories out there. Wish me luck...